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Oldest wooden shoe factory closes in Michigan town

Holland tourism industry dealt blows

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

HOLLAND, Michigan - Fierce competition for the tourist dollar is being blamed for the decision to close one of the few remaining wooden shoe makers in the United States. The Wooden Shoe Factory was founded in the Michigan town 73 years ago, but its run ends before the beginning of the new century. Just weeks earlier, another of Holland's tourist attractions, the Queen's Inn, announced its closure. The Queen's Inn had been serving Dutch and American cuisine for over 40 years.

The decision by Wooden Shoe Factory owner David Gier was lamented by competitor De Klomp Wooden Shoe Factory at Veldheer Tulip Gardens. ‘With the Woodenshoe Factory gone, there's just one less reason to stop in Holland,’ said vice-president Freeman.

Meanwhile, the city of Holland is trying to attract investors to substantially revamp Windmill Island, an attraction which has not generated the anticipated revenues for a number of years.